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Sweet Soy Smoked Salmon

5 from 74 votes
Published on 03/19/2024 by Umamiology
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The first thing you’ll notice about this Sweet Soy Smoked Salmon is the fact that it is moist and melt-in-your-mouth soft. This is not your typical, dry salmon fillet – it’s soft, tender and deliciously sweet and salty from the soy sauce marinade.

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Most smoked salmon recipes end up being dry and a little tough. That’s a big turn off for most people. And that’s why my mission for this Sweet Soy Smoked Salmon recipe was to not only create a salmon fillet that was sweet, savory and fully infused with rich hickory smoke flavor – but also to smoke one that is moist, soft and melt-in-your-mouth flakey!

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When you have really good smoked salmon, what you’ll experience is a tender, flavorful fish with a distinctive smokey aroma and a sweet and salty soy essence.

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This sweet soy smoked salmon is good just by itself or in salads, sandwiches or even pasta dishes.

How To Smoke Salmon

The key to perfectly smoking salmon is to control the temperature and time of smoking. You’ll want to smoke low and slow for a short initial period to infuse that smokey flavor into the salmon, and then crank up the heat to grill the salmon and bring it up to the right internal temperature quickly – to avoid drying it out. This recipe will show you exactly how to do that.

What Type Of Salmon To Get

There are a few varieties of salmon that are readily available at most supermarkets, but for this recipe, my favorite salmon to use is Northwest Red King Salmon. It has a bit of a milder salmon taste when compared to Sockeye or Atlantic Salmon – and in my opinion it has a more natural orange salmon hue, instead of the deep red color of Sockeye salmon.

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I get this kind of salmon from my local Costco – but you can find this fillet in almost any major supermarket.

Key Elements Of This Recipe

  • Northwest Red King Salmon: I buy these in sliced fillets at my local Costco
  • Dark Soy Sauce: The dark soy has the right amount of salty rich soy flavor
  • Agave Nectar: My sweetener of choice for this recipe

The Ingredients for Sweet Soy Smoked Salmon

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  • 6 Salmon Fillets
  • Sweet Soy Salmon Marinade
    • 1.5 cup Dark Soy Sauce
    • 2 cups Water
    • 5 cloves Garlic (grated)
    • 8 slices Ginger
    • 3 tablespoons Agave Nectar
    • 5 Orange Slices

The Equipment Needed

How To Make Sweet Soy Smoked Salmon

First, give your salmon fillets a quick rinse and dab dry with a paper towel.

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Then in a tupperware container, mix your dark soy sauce, water, grated cloves of garlic, sliced ginger, agave nectar and orange slices.

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Add in your salmon fillets, face down, into the sweet soy marinade in the tupperware container.

Let it marinate for a minimum of 5 hours.

Develop The Pellicle

Once you’ve marinated for about 5 hours, remove the fillets from the marinade and let it sit in the fridge, uncovered, for about 20 minutes so that a pellicle can form on the salmon.

A pellicle is a thin, sticky layer that remains on the salmon when you let it air dry after marination – which helps smoke to adhere better to the salmon.

Smoking Your Salmon

Set your smoker to 200°F.

Place your salmon fillets directly on your smoker grill and smoke at 200°F for 8 minutes only – to infuse the smoke flavor into the salmon.

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Then promptly raise the temperature of the smoker to 450°F and finish grilling the fillets until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 140°F.

Pull it off the smoker and let it sit for 5 minutes – then plate promptly and serve!

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How Long To Smoke Salmon

Like all smoked meats, you’ll want to cook to internal temperature, rather than a specific time period. For this salmon, you’ll want to ensure that the internal temperature hits 140°F, before you pull it off the smoker.

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Sweet Soy Smoked Salmon

5 from 74 votes
The first thing you'll notice about this Sweet Soy Smoked Salmon is the fact that it is moist and melt-in-your-mouth soft. This is not your typical, dry salmon fillet – it's soft, tender and deliciously sweet and salty from the soy sauce marinade.
Author: Umamiology
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
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Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 6 fillets Northwest Red King Salmon, (or your salmon of choice)

Sweet Soy Salmon Marinade

Instructions 

How To Make Sweet Soy Smoked Salmon

  • First, give your salmon fillets a quick rinse and dab dry with a paper towel.
  • Then in a tupperware container, mix your dark soy sauce, water, grated cloves of garlic, sliced ginger, agave nectar and orange slices.
  • Add in your salmon fillets, face down, into the sweet soy marinade in the tupperware container.
  • Let it marinate for a minimum of 5 hours.

Develop The Pellicle

  • Once you've marinated for about 5 hours, remove the fillets from the marinade and let it sit in the fridge, uncovered, for about 20 minutes so that a pellicle can form on the salmon.
  • A pellicle is a thin, sticky layer of the sauce that remains on the salmon when you let it air dry after marination – which helps smoke to adhere better to the salmon.

Smoking Your Salmon

  • Set your smoker to 200°F.
  • Place your salmon fillets directly on your smoker grill and smoke at 200°F for 8 minutes only – to infuse the smoke flavor into the salmon.
  • Then promptly raise the temperature of the smoker to 450°F and finish grilling the fillets until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 140°F.
  • Pull it off the smoker and let it sit for 5 minutes – then plate promptly and serve!

How Long To Smoke Salmon

  • Like all smoked meats, you'll want to cook to internal temperature, rather than a specific time period. For this salmon, you'll want to ensure that the internal temperature hits 140°F, before you pull it off the smoker.

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 40gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 3320mgPotassium: 999mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 94IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 3mg

*Nutritional information is just an estimate derived by an online calculation tool.

FAQ

How long does it take to smoke salmon?

Like all smoked meats, you’ll want to cook to internal temperature, rather than a specific time period. For salmon, you’ll want to ensure that the internal temperature hits 140°F, before you pull it off the smoker.

At what temperature do you smoke salmon?

In this recipe, we place the salmon fillets directly on the smoker grill and smoke at 200°F for 8 minutes only – to infuse the smoke flavor into the salmon.

Then we promptly raise the temperature of the smoker to 450°F and finish grilling the fillets until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 140°F.

Is it ok to eat smoked salmon?

For hot smoked salmon, as long as it was cooked to an internal temperature of 140°F – it should be safe to eat.

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